Ecuador: Promoting Saraguro Indigenous Culture

Meet Angel Gualan. He is proud to be from the indigenous group, the Saraguro and was educated at a local university the Loja Technical University, He writes not only about his culture, but also what he is passionate about, the technology. He's a intellectual but is not involved in politics, like fellow Saraguro Luis Macas, who was once a Presidential candidate.

In his blog, under his same name Angel Gualan, he explains how he started to become fond of technology and where he begins his first entrance into education:

Cuando yo empece a estudiar era muy pequeño, empecé el Jardín a los 4 años recién cumplidos, todos me decian que era demaciado pequeño de estatura, pero eso nunca me ha impedido seguir adelante, a los 10 salí de la escuela e ingresé de inmediato al colegio, y alos 16 empecé la “U” todo ese tiempo de estudio me ha formado y he adquirido un valor de criterio. Siempre me he vestido como indigena Saraguro, por que soy lo que soy, y no me averguenzo de serlo, aunque algunos chicos y chicas sales a las ciudades y cambian su identidad y quieren aparecer algo que no son…Cuando creé mi blog ya había terminado la U y me parecio impresindible dar a conocer la cultura de los Saraguros, para que asi nos puedan entender mejor.

When I started to study I was very little, started kindergarten when I just turned 4. Everyone told me that I was too short, but it has never prevented me to continue ahead, when I turned 10 I left grade school and immediately entered into high school, when I turned 16 I started the “U” (university) and during all these years of study I have received training and have acquired a critical way of thinking. I have always dressed like a native Saraguro, because I am what I am, and I am not ashamed to be, although some boys and girls go to the cities and change their identity and want to appear as something they aren't…When I created my blog had I already completed the U(niversity) and it seemed to me indispensable to promote the culture of the Saraguros, so that others can understand us better.

Promoting his culture is precisely what he is doing, ever since starting his blog in June 2007. In addition, he had created another blog called Yo Amawta [es], although it did not continue because of his focus on the other blog that promoted his culture.

Angel is a part of ACOSL [es] (Andean Corporation of Social Organizations of Loja and he has traveled to Sweden as part of this organization (part I, part II) where among other things he says:

Para la gente del campo es muy dificil salir de viaje y aún mas al exterior, por eso agradezco por los esfuerzos que han realizado las dos organizaciones, y como todo era completamente nuevo para mi, quiero hacer una serie de posts de las experiencias vividas y trabajos realizado durante la estancia.

For rural people, it is very difficult to leave and travel overseas, so I am grateful for the efforts that the two organizations have made (FENOCIN, UBV), and since everything was completely new to me, I have a series of posts from the experiences and work done during the stay.

In addition, he learned how to create an small business in the university and as a result, he has also created a project that still needs to be promoted, kanastakuna. This project offers organic dairy products on delivery (only Loja) and are cultivated in one of the most representative Saraguro communities, San Lucas.

If you want to learn more about Saraguros , head over his blog to see what it means for example pampa mesa, how to make chicha de jora, which is used in El Linche and definitely what it means to be a Saraguro:

Un saraguro es un hombre fuerte, frenta a las adversidades, que ha tenido que luchar duro, en su tierra, con sus animales para tener una economía sustentable dentro del hogar (..) Soy Indigena y a mucha honrra, por que asi, lucho contra la privatización del agua, la libertad de expresión, los alimentos transgénicos, toda clase de contaminación, y sobre todo lucho para que este pueblo sea reconocido.

A saraguro is a strong man, faces adversity, and one who has had to fight on his land, with his animals in order to have a sustainable economy for his home (..) I am a very proud Indigenous, and for that, I fight against water privatization, for freedom of speech, against transgenic foods, against all type of contamination and above all, I fight so that our people are recognized.

We will finish this post telling you something that Angel loves called chashpishka which is the rhythm danced in this video.


  • jose canas-Trejos

    Hi i enjoyed your film on you tube, can you help me to make contact with someone in Ecuador who could provide me with a export licence to export bananas from Ecuador to England.
    Thankyou for your support

  • Kate Hearn


    I have recently chosen the Saraguro Culture as a research paper topic. I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of some good sources. Thank you for your time.


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